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Ritual Exchange and the Fourth Obligation (2010)
DOCUMENT Full-Text Chris Morehart. Noah Butler.

Employing Mauss’s notion of the fourth obligation, giving to the gods, this article develops a formulation of ritual exchange to examine the interactive nature of ritual practice. As a modality of interaction, ritual exchange is contingent upon enduring normative beliefs, such as perceived obligations to spiritual entities, and the social positions of ritual practitioners. Consequently, ritual exchange evinces not only the material and immaterial nature of sacred beliefs but also the...